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Exposure and color measurement tools

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:44 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Exposure and color measurement tools

Hi all,

I would like you to recommend me for tools to help me in my lighting and color management, I have a light meter, what more tools i need to get more accurate in exposure or colors? I think gray card is important, which gray card i should get?
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:00 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

There are many grey cards on the market, the main difference being durability. Plastic ones last longer, but paper ones are cheaper.

I recommend the below or one like it, as it has all three (white, grey, black) colors needed to properly adjust curves or levels with the 3 droppers.

Digital Grey Kard Premium White Balance Card

For more info on how to use a grey card:

COLOR BALANCING DIGITAL IMAGES WITH A GREY CARD
Using A Gray Card

Just do your research and buy what you can afford. But donít spend $300 if youíre not going to get paid for it or if youíre not going to use it. Try a cheaper product first, then if you like the style, upgrade to a better one.

Hope it helps,
-Keven
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:11 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
There are many grey cards on the market, the main difference being durability. Plastic ones last longer, but paper ones are cheaper.

I recommend the below or one like it, as it has all three (white, grey, black) colors needed to properly adjust curves or levels with the 3 droppers.

Digital Grey Kard Premium White Balance Card

For more info on how to use a grey card:

COLOR BALANCING DIGITAL IMAGES WITH A GREY CARD
Using A Gray Card

Just do your research and buy what you can afford. But donít spend $300 if youíre not going to get paid for it or if youíre not going to use it. Try a cheaper product first, then if you like the style, upgrade to a better one.

Hope it helps,
-Keven
Thank you very much!
Now what will that $300 card do more than with $10 card?
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:11 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Another option is the Expo disk.

The down side is cost.

I own one, itís very accurate but its time consuming to use. If you go this route, make sure you buy one for the biggest lens filter size you think you will ever buy. You can still use a 77mm disk on a 52mm by just covering it. But you cannot use a 52mm on a 77mm filter size.

Itís all a choice of how you want to get your WB; the down side of the expo disk is that there is no file with the grey card in it. And the only way to copy the WB is if you shoot in RAW, as JPEG donít save temp information.

-Keven
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:23 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tareq View Post
Now what will that $300 card do more than with $10 card?
The below is expensive because it has color references, large, and durable. When you seriously need accurate color... and your paid the big bucks.
Macbeth ColorChecker SG (Semi Gloss)

Has all 3 color, and is considered extremely accurate.
Gretag Macbeth ColorChecker Gray Scale Balance Card

Cost can be in better quality, accuracy, durability, or size (of the card).

If you’re shooting at 200mm with a far away subject, you might want to get a 8x10 sized. If your shooting product shoots, you need accurate color. But for most people, a $20-30 grey card is more than enough. The key is to keep your card clean.

-Keven
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:52 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
Another option is the Expo disk.

The down side is cost.

I own one, itís very accurate but its time consuming to use. If you go this route, make sure you buy one for the biggest lens filter size you think you will ever buy. You can still use a 77mm disk on a 52mm by just covering it. But you cannot use a 52mm on a 77mm filter size.

Itís all a choice of how you want to get your WB; the down side of the expo disk is that there is no file with the grey card in it. And the only way to copy the WB is if you shoot in RAW, as JPEG donít save temp information.

-Keven
Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
The below is expensive because it has color references, large, and durable. When you seriously need accurate color... and your paid the big bucks.
Macbeth ColorChecker SG (Semi Gloss)

Has all 3 color, and is considered extremely accurate.
Gretag Macbeth ColorChecker Gray Scale Balance Card

Cost can be in better quality, accuracy, durability, or size (of the card).

If youíre shooting at 200mm with a far away subject, you might want to get a 8x10 sized. If your shooting product shoots, you need accurate color. But for most people, a $20-30 grey card is more than enough. The key is to keep your card clean.

-Keven
OK, in fact i was going to buy a color checker separated than the gray card, i thought both are different, so in this case, if i get a color checker then i don't need a gray card?
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

This is the gray card that i have

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/7079/graycard1wi2.jpg

And here is a test shot using this gray card included in the shot.

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3...aycard3fg5.jpg
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2009, 06:01 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tareq View Post
This is the gray card that i have
The grey card is supposed to be parallel to the camera. The cloth seems to also be reflective. You want to have solid colors. it seems to be putting accurate color... but a Card should be better.

If you’re going to continue using your current grey card, you should attach it to something flat and sturdy (like a piece of matt cardboard, black/white or both). This will not only give you an accurate measurement, it will be easier to hold. Also putting it behind a white and black card board will give you a basis for the white and black droppers.

A color checker will have a grey patch on it (as well as black white and all the other colors), the down side is that it is very small patch as opposed to a regular grey card. The picture below is a 4x6 card and the third from the bottom right is the grey square (you can sample from any of the greys, just pick the one that you like best). Making it only 1inx1in in size. Its hard to get a good sample from a distance when it's only 1inx1in if you know what I mean.



-Keven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MSCCC-2.jpg (30.2 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by igot2pman; 02-13-2009 at 06:09 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2009, 07:12 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
The grey card is supposed to be parallel to the camera. The cloth seems to also be reflective. You want to have solid colors. it seems to be putting accurate color... but a Card should be better.

If youíre going to continue using your current grey card, you should attach it to something flat and sturdy (like a piece of matt cardboard, black/white or both). This will not only give you an accurate measurement, it will be easier to hold. Also putting it behind a white and black card board will give you a basis for the white and black droppers.

A color checker will have a grey patch on it (as well as black white and all the other colors), the down side is that it is very small patch as opposed to a regular grey card. The picture below is a 4x6 card and the third from the bottom right is the grey square (you can sample from any of the greys, just pick the one that you like best). Making it only 1inx1in in size. Its hard to get a good sample from a distance when it's only 1inx1in if you know what I mean.



-Keven
No i don't know what you mean, hope to get more explanation.

I added the color checker into my list, and also that 3-in-1 [or 3-ways] card which is a bit cheap, so until i can get them both later i will keep reading about them, and to be honest i don't use this cloth at all, only to clean my lenses but i don't trust it for gray card because as you said i want a solid uniform surface to be exact parallel to the camera, and this cloth seems not a good one to use.

but my question, there is a color checker with many colors [maybe 140] and there is another one with less colors patches [24], what is the difference?
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2009, 09:19 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Exposure and color measurement tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tareq View Post
but my question, there is a color checker with many colors [maybe 140] and there is another one with less colors patches [24], what is the difference?
Color checkers are designed to be calibrators for profiles and very accurate color processing. The more patches it has, the more accurite the checker is.

Color processing is a very dificult process to understand; More or less do. The main thing you need is a good white balance, which is done with a grey card. If you need even more accurite color, then you will need to profile with a color checker.

Start with calibrating your monitor. Monitor color checker. Make sure you can see all the black and white boxes and the colors are correct.

I am not an expert on this subject, if your looking for someone to teach you more, maybe someone elce can pick up from here. Just do your research.

-Keven
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